Public support for the monarchy in Canada is lower than in the United Kingdom, but Queen Elizabeth II’s reign isn’t over yet and there’s no real reason to believe Prince Charles won’t become the next head of state.
Quebec aside, Elizabeth remains extremely popular throughout Canada. Polls show eight out of 10 Canadians positively endorse her. And while a majority of Canadians suggest cutting ties with the monarchy upon the Queen’s death, the majority is slim and roughly half of the population would accept Charles as the next head of state.
The role of the Queen in British politics has been amplified in recent months with the ongoing shambles related to the United Kingdom’s expected withdrawal from the European Union.
When Prime Minister Boris Johnson requested her approval for a longer-than-usual prorogation of Parliament (which was later reversed in the courts), it felt like the future of Brexit was in Her Majesty’s hands.
Technically, it was. Had the prorogation not been granted, those in Parliament who favoured remaining in the EU would have had extra time to formulate plans to stifle Britain’s planned exit.
Activists in favour of remaining in the EU have rioted and politicians have engaged in the most egregious acts of defiance and disrespect for democracy.
Meanwhile, the Queen has been a refreshingly neutral, respectful and loyal participant throughout. Her positive influence, and her power, have felt very real in recent months.
But in Canada, her role might well seem less prominent. Perhaps it’s a combination of the fact that much of her work is done by the governor general of Canada, as well as the interesting silence over the matter by Canadian Jacobins.
I’m talking about far-left extremists who are willing to jump on any political cause that might create headaches for the stereotypical politician and decry colonialism as genocide.
It’s important to consider the thoughts of activists like this in relation to the role the monarchy plays in Canada.
While incessant social media campaigns tell Canadians and the rest of the world that colonialism has resulted in the carefully planned and ongoing cultural genocide of various cohorts of people in Canada, little is said about the living, breathing embodiment of European influence over North America.
Isn’t this hypocrisy?
I say this as a staunch British monarchist. The Commonwealth that binds the U.K. and Canada – along with 51 other member states – is a great positive for the world.
I’ve heard little in the way of criticism from Canadian Jacobins. That’s probably because support for the monarchy hasn’t completely diminished and many of these activists are likely in favour of the monarchy – or at least indifferent about it.
For those who don’t support the monarchy as an institution in Canada: Would you prefer an American-style system? Do you prefer a directly-elected head of state, a president who encompasses both the role of the prime minister and queen?
Next time you find yourself sharing space with Canadian Jacobin at a Royal visit, ask them if they really support the crown.
Jack Buckby is a research associate with the Frontier Centre for Public Policy and a British author and researcher. His last book, Architects of Betrayal, explores the disastrous EU exit withdrawal negotiations under the leadership of Prime Minister Theresa May.